Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I love, love, love macarons!  I loved them before I went gluten free, it’s just one of those dreamy treats I didn’t have to give up.  I tried a recipe from Pinterest for my first try, tasty, but there were some improvements to be made.  This recipe turned out perfect, and of course, I had to change it a little.
This had to be one of the most thoughtful gifts I ever received.  I was at a Christmas party for our church and I eyed a plate, the ONLY plate, of Macarons and by the time I sought out the person who brought them to ask if they were gluten free, they were gone.  I asked her how hard they were to make, and she said she’d tried several and loves them too.  The next week she brought over this recipe book because I had asked her about them.  And it wasn’t only thoughtful, but this book is AWESOME!  They have printable pdf files of templates too on a CD included in the back of the book.  SO cute!  You can buy it HERE.

Measure by weight, not volume!

Basic Recipe (my changes in BLUE)

200g powdered sugar
110g almond flour
100g egg whites aged at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
35g superfine sugar
4-6 drops lime doTerra essential oil
Dab of green food coloring paste

Measure all of the ingredients with a digital scale. 
Preheat oven to 320’ for at least 30 minutes.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour into a bowl together.  Combine well using a wire whisk and set aside.
In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites until opaque and creamy.  Add pinch of cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Slowly add superfine sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Add food coloring his point if you choose to use it.

Fold and stir the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture into the egg whites, adding 1/3 of the mixture at a time.  The mixture will be the texture of thick cake batter, but fluffy and light.  Add the macaron mix to a piping bag with a tip #12 attached.  Pipe onto silicone mat or on parchment paper circles.  Tap the cookie sheet to release bubbles and help the mix spread out within the circles.  Allow to set 30-40 minutes(I found 20 minutes too short to leave an adequate skin).  They will get a skin and look dull.  This skin helps them rise up rather than spread out.  Turn oven down to 300’.  Bake one cookie sheet on the bottom rack at a time for 10-12 minutes, rotate the pan halfway through to allow steam to escape and evenly distribute heat.  Cookies should NOT brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Peel the cookies off of the parchment or silicone mat to finish cooling. 
Divide the cooled cookies into pairs of like sizes.  Pipe the icing into the center with enough of it to go to the ends, but not spill out.  Refrigerate overnight for best results.

2 sticks softened/room temperature(not melted) butter (I prefer salted)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ Tbl. Rum emulsion flavoring
2 tsp. almond emulsion flavoring
Beat all of the ingredients in a large mixer bowl on high for several minutes.  Scrape the bowl as needed.  Add more milk or powdered sugar to get a thick consistency.  Cover and let sit 15 minutes and beat again.  A cake decorator taught me if you did this then you don’t have to sift the sugar. 

Lime Curd:
½ cup sugar
Zest of 3 limes
½ Cup Fresh lime juice
4 egg yolks(now you get to use those egg yolks up.
Pinch of salt
¼ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup white chocolate chips

Whisk all of the ingredients except the butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan.  Over very low heat, bring to a simmer whisking the entire time.  It will thicken up as it begins to bubble while still stirring.   After it’s thick, remove from heat and add white chocolate chips.  Stir until they are completely melted and incorporated.  Allow to cool until just warm enough to melt butter.  Add 1 Tbl. of butter at a time and incorporate all of the butter. I didn’t like the look of orange yolk color with the specks of green zest so I added some green food coloring.   Set aside until cool.
When the Lime Curd is cool, add 1/2-3/4 cup to Buttercream Icing and mix well.  Spoon icing mix into a piping bag with another #12 tip. 

Prepare your cooled cookies to fill with icing by pairing them up with like sizes and shapes.  Turn one of the pair over and pipe icing into the center. 

Refrigerate cookies in a tightly sealed or covered container overnight for best results. 

One of my experiments was too ugly to photograph, but yummy enough to gobble up, lavender macarons with lemon icing.  There are countless variations, but I'm partial to anything with citrus in it.  You can even add mashed berries to icing, or even mascarpone cheese/pudding mix(you need something help it stay together).


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